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The Stimilus Isn’t Working

July 30, 2010 at 6:15 pm Matt Leave a comment Go to comments

And as Steven Hayes in The Weekly Standard notes, Ohio voters know it:

Although the White House is working hard to convince the country that the stimulus has “saved or created” jobs, voters aren’t buying. A CBS/New York Times poll in mid-July found that a majority of Americans (74 percent) believe that the stimulus has had no effect on the economy (56 percent) or worsened it (18 percent). Fifty-four percent of those surveyed disapprove of Obama’s handling of the economy and just 40 percent approve. Most telling, perhaps, is Obama’s overall approval rating. It was 62 percent in February 2009, with only 25 percent disapproval. Today, just 46 percent of Americans approve of his performance and 46 percent disapprove.

In Lucas County, these abstract numbers come to life. Obama beat John McCain here 65-34. But the May 2010 primaries demonstrated a shift in Democratic fortunes. Ohio voters who want to vote in party primaries have to declare an affiliation. (Voters also have the option of choosing an “issues only” ballot. Those who do so do not have to pick a party.) On primary day this spring, May 4, Republicans had a 10-to-1 advantage in crossovers. Some 392 voters switched their registration from Republican to Democrat, but 3,743 switched their registration from Democrat to Republican. This, despite the fact that the only competitive primary in Ohio this spring was for the Democratic nomination for Senate. (Lieutenant Governor Lee Fisher defeated Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner by 10 points and will face former Republican representative Rob Portman this fall.)

Republicans also had a strong advantage in voters who switched from “issues only” ballots in 2008 to a party ballot in 2010. Some 251 “issues only” voters chose Democratic ballots this year and 699 opted to align with Republicans—again, in a county that went for Obama almost 2-1.

Mark Wagoner, a Republican state senator whose district covers half of Lucas County, says that Obama has been too aggressive for many voters in northwest Ohio. “It wasn’t that the voters bought into Obama’s vision,” he explains over chili dogs at Tony Packo’s in Toledo. “They were just sick of Republicans. I went door-to-door [in 2008] and had a number of people tell me they would not vote for a single Republican.” Now, he says, many of the same voters have “buyer’s remorse.” “They tell me: ‘This isn’t the change I voted for.’ ”

Read the rest here.

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